Roxy Music POMO Week: Day Two – Orange

roxy-POMO-header-orange
Yesterday we looked at remixes issued by Virgin in 2006. The next in the Roxy Color series hit the racks in 2007, and were in fact, the first of these I purchased as downloads in 2010. I was deciding whether to collect the hard copy of these on vinyl, but that would have cost a small fortune; and for post-modern remixes I wasn’t even sure I was okay with! Then the appeal of cheap DLs began to shine. So I tried them. How were they?

Virgin | UK | 12″ | 2007 | VST 1920

Virgin | UK | 12″ | 2007 | VST 1920

Roxy Music: Remixes [Orange] UK 12″/DL [2007]

  1. The Main Thing [Rub ‘N Tug Proton Saga] 6:10
  2. Same Old Scene [Glimmers Mix] 6:45

Fave “Avalon” deep cut “The Main Thing” was delivered in a stripped down mix that lost my favorite thing about the track; its luxuriant rhythm track with those stately percussion clatters. In its place were fairly lifeless loops and a new synth bass line which wasn’t much compared to the awesome slink of  Neil Jason’s original. On the other hand, the vocals were right up front instead of being buried in the mix. A rhumba-inspired piano rhythm was a different addition to the vibe. I was less than convinced by the overused dubbed out guitar lick loop which overstayed its welcome by half. In its favor, the song didn’t seem lost as the vibe had been changed, but not quite fatally. When the string patches and the isolated and up front backing vocals made their appearance in the fadeout coda, it was a welcome thing. I liked the re-deployment of the strings, actually. A pretty fair, if weaker, remix at the end of the day. Sample.

I’ll be frank. “Same Old Scene” is my go-to late period Roxy Music track! its 3:54 running time always caused me angst that there was not an extended version; until now. The track kicked off with a snare/hi-hat tempo and the classic CR-78 rhythm box brought right up front. One could almost imagine a mashup with “Heart Of Glass” happening before your very ears. [memo to self: has anyone done this?] swooshing synths aren’t a bad addition to the cut, but right up front, the sleek lead synth lines whose gazelle-like agility were compromised by the decision to stutter these lines with gating to emphasize their rhythmic possibilities. Bad form! That was my absolutely favorite thing about the track!

Fortunately, everything else about this remix pushes the buttons in the pleasure center of my brain. Alan Spenner’s awesome bass line? Isolated and in my face! Yessssss! This is a remix that can stand proudly with  the “Angel Eyes” mixes from yesterday as a sterling example of making a post-modern remix of a song that I dearly love that finds new ways to prolong it [and even enhance it] without throwing the baby out with the bathwater. It remains a bittersweet, yet gossamer, disco confection of abject heartbreak waiting to happen. Enjoy. I did… and enough to investigate the rest of the Roxy Color series.

Next: …A different Color Purple

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5 Responses to Roxy Music POMO Week: Day Two – Orange

  1. Echorich says:

    So, although Orange is my favorite color, this is NOT my favorite release in the color series. The Main Thing just doesn’t go anywhere for me. Now the original is pretty tight and not all that adventurous, but the original synth lines and effects are what turn this song on for me and they are almost an afterthought, not showing up until 2/3 way through the remix – as though they might be used as a coda. Meh.
    Monk I’ll do you one better a three way mash up of Same Old Scene, Heart Of Glass and Gary Numan’s Remind Me To Smile…ALL THREE set the CR78 to the exact same pattern and tempo. In fact Remind Me To Smile is Numan’s most obvious tip of the hat to Glam for these ears. Yes, the Glimmers remix of Same Old Scene looses some of its languid European-ness, but it does seem to amp up the energy in a positive way. The bass line threads the affair together very nicely. I’m a bit suspicious of the vocal as Ferry sounds just a bit sped up. I usually find this to be a sign of a lazy remixer wanting to make everything to fit rather than preserve the vocals and find a way to work with them. Anyway in this day and age pitch control should be pretty easy no mater how much the BPM is raised.

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  2. Tim says:

    Thanks for the series inspired by my comment.
    I just listened to the mix for “Same Old Scene” (a favorite track of Neil Hannon, btw) and I’m not unable to hear some of the background fx. It almost sounds at times as if someone is playing Space Invaders or Galaga really loudly while playing Roxy Music on their stereo!

    I am sincerely enjoying your dissection of each track and I share a similar disdain for remixes of a certain vintage (the years bookending mine are a bit different). I don’t know if you’re heard the Blank + Jones remix album of old Frankie tracks where they were provided access to the original raw materials to work with and kept the values of the mixes in line with early/mid 80’s mixes (i,e, no Dubstep/House/Trance/Tribe/D&B mixes allowed). The end result was stellar and really set a benchmark for how to make an interesting album in the process (Is it a tribute? Is it a remix album? Both?).

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    • Echorich says:

      Tim I have to agree, Blank & Jones tend to be very reverential to the source material when remixing classic tracks. Those Frankie tracks are pretty darn amazing.

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      Tim – I am very open to any suggestions, and since I already had these, it was a no-brainier to have a theme week here at PPM! Many thanks for the idea. I am aware of the Blank & Jones ZTT project and if I’m lucky, I’ll find it in an Amoeba very soon!

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  3. This is my first experience with these colour Roxy remixes and for the most part I’m enjoying them. “The Main Thing” is the worst one I’ve heard so far, and its at least tolerable. The SOS one … wow! I strongly associate this album and track with Miami since I was there a lot at the time, and I was definitely having flashbacks of the disco era with that one! This points out one of the things I love about iTunes (Amazon Music, et al) is that if I just want the song rather than any physical item, I can buy just those tracks I like rather than the whole thing.

    This obviously doesn’t apply to those with … (Ren Hoek vocal distortion)Collector MADNESS … but it adds nicely to my iTunes library, for cheap!

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